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Tory grassroots to Cameron: Stop the concessions to Clegg

Tim Montgomerie

Matthew Parris and I are not always on the same page but he, in The Times (£), and me in The Independent, both conclude that Cameron shouldn't give more ground to the Liberal Democrats if Nick Clegg fares very badly in next month's elections and referendum.

LibDem-birds-eat-manifesto- In a ConservativeHome survey of 1,115 Tory members (conducted on Wednesday and Thursday and reported in The Independent) there is a massive rejection of further concessions.

Asked to choose between two tactics after 5th May the Conservative grassroots are adamant that there have been enough concessions:


In my article for The Independent I urge Cameron to be tough with Clegg and note the Lib Dems will face wipe out if they continue the tantrums and destroy the government:

"If the Lib Dems were to force an early election they would be annihilated. They'd lose their university seats because of Clegg's "read my lips" U-turn on tuition fees. They'd be wiped out in much of Scotland and northern England where left-wing voters feel betrayed by the Coalition. Polls suggest many of their southern seats would return to the Conservatives. Clegg, Huhne and David Laws could all lose their seats."

Matthew Parris recommends that Mr Cameron has a tough conversation with Mr Clegg if he loses the AV referendum:

"Mr Cameron needs to remind Lib Dems that they asked for a referendum, got it and lost it; that they wanted a stronger mandate from the British people at the last general election and (in seats) got a weaker one; that the Tories strengthened their mandate; and Lib Dems have nevertheless gained a share in government out of all proportion to their one fifth share of the coalition’s MPs."

The Prime Minister's remarks about interns this morning, his immigration speech and his permissive approach to the independent No2AV (allowing targeting of Clegg) suggest Mr Cameron may be ready for a steelier approach to his junior coalition partners. Let's hope it continues after next month's elections.


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